Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Three Cups of Tea and me

I have been meaning to read the book Three Cups of Tea for some time now, and just have not been able to get around to it. So I packed it in my bag for this trip and have been reading it in snatches whenever I can. I have even stayed up late reading it. I hope to finish reading it in time to give the copy to my mom and sister to read. It is a very powerful book to read.

In a time and culture when we pay more attention to movie stars, recording stars and athletes who make millions of dollars, here is a man who is so different and doing things so different. It is the story of Greg Mortenson who after a fall from K2 in the high mountains of Pakistan, began "climbing an other mountain." He has been self sacrificing, making very little income, putting his life on the line, to build schools, medical facilities and water filtration units for the people living in these mountains. And his work has made such an impact on these impoverished people, their homes, their communities and their families for a long time to come. I found myself drawn into his life work and into the villages and the people who lived there and their lives. I wanted to go work with him. I wish I had the single minded focus and passion he does.

If you have not read this book, read it, you will be glad you did. And then when you read it share it with someone else. And do something. There is a website for Three Cups of Tea and it tells you what you can do to help. And if this is not your passion and focus, then find out what it is and do something.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008 Leadership Book Awards

Over at Christianity Today; Leadership, they have put together a list of the ten books of 2008 deemed most valuable for church leaders. They have named it the Golden Canon. It is interesting to me that even though it means list they like the image of a canon and have included in the journal. Is there something to that? I think so. They divided it up by one's inner world and outer world of leadership. Have a look and let me know what you think.
Here's the list for your Outer World:
The Reason for God Belief in an age of skepticism by Tim Keller (Dutton)
Culture Making Recovering our creative calling by Andy Crouch (IVP)
Axiom Powerful leadership proverbs by Bill Hybels (Zondervan)
Consuming Jesus Beyond race and class divisions in a consumer church by Paul Louis Metzger (Eerdmans)
Church Unique How missional leaders cast vision, capture culture, and create movement by Will Mancini (Jossey-Bass)

Now for the Inner World:
Surprised by Hope Rethinking heaven, the resurrection, and the mission of the church by N.T. Wright (HarperOne)
The Jesus Way A conversation on the ways that Jesus is the Way by Eugene Peterson (Eerdmans)
The Attentive Life Discerning God's presence in all things by Leighton Ford (IVP)
Life with God Reading the Bible for spiritual transformation by Richard Foster (HarperOne)
Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor The life and reflections of Tom Carson by D.A. Carson (Crossway)

Okay now tell me what you see. That's right, no books by women. I guess we aren't leaders or we just don't write good books for leaders in churches. But wait, maybe you know of a woman who leads or a good book about leadership that is written by a woman.

I am bothered by the title the Golden Canon and the image they chose to represent it also.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Baking sugar cookies and face painting

Saturday, the older adopted Chinese girls had a baking cookies and face painting party. We hosted it at the church, so one lone boy was along for the fun.

And it was a lot of fun had by all, including the parents. We had about five families with about nine kids in all. We get them together regularly so they can be with kids that look like themselves. They are often the only Asian in their classroom, grade or school. We also get them together so we parents can compare notes, celebrate and support each other.

The adults made the mix and baked the cookies. The kids did the cookie cutting and decorated them. I was surprised that there really wasn't that much of a mess to clean up even with all the icing, and sprinkles that got used. Some cookies ended up with more icing than anything else. One kid got creative and made cookie sandwiches. They were all very pretty and tasted good.

Then the oldest girl did face painting for the kids. She is quite the artist. She was also practicing for the Chinese New Year celebration. As you can see from Zach's she did a good job.

While the adults cleaned up and talked the kids were playing with the balloons we had brought to mark where we were meeting. They were having the best time. It was good to see everybody playing and having a good time.

My kids wanted to come home and bake some more, so we will have another baking time soon.

The Families with Children from China are having their Christmas party this Thursday, so that will be our next get together.

Say you want some yummy well decorated sugar cookies?

Monday, December 01, 2008

First Advent for us at Trinity

We had such a good time over Thanksgiving.
Our funds are a little low so we didn't do anything that cost money this weekend and that was okay. We just had a good time together.

Last night Trinity had an Old Fashioned Christmas for the families.
It involved bringing and sharing finger foods, bringing a gift for children of the Upper Sand Mountain Parish, and making a craft.
Afterward, the children presented their Christmas program "A Lesson and Carols" And they did a very good job. I got the privilege of doing the opening prayer and benediction. Our three sang with their group of kids and the larger group. It was a joy to hear their voices. Several people came up and said something about Zachary knowing all the words to the songs. Not surprised he is very quick to learn things.

I also enjoyed the worship in the contemporary service where we actually sang some advent hymns and had an advent candle lighting. We also baptized three children along with receiving a family into the church. It was a full worship service. Our new worship leader does such a good job.

Next week I preach in Traditional and we also have communion. It too will be a full service. And I love Traditional too.

This week is busy with the UMW big Christmas dinner, Blue Christmas Healing Service, the kids' Chinese party, and some other events. And while I write this it is snowing outside. Wow. Thank you God.